We don’t eat a lot of chicken or pork…usually when we cook protein it is either beef or fish, but every now and then we get the urge to roast a beautiful pork tenderloin, or bake a whole chicken. This is a great option for pork combining fresh ingredients and flavors. Serve with a fruity Pinot Gris or a light Grenache Rose.
Pork Tenderloin with Fennel, Apple and Apricots
1 12 oz pork tenderloin, trimmed of all outer fat (ask your butcher to butterfly it for you)
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 small red onion – diced
½ head of fresh fennel – diced
2 tablespoons dried cranberries + 1 tablespoon for the sauce – chopped
2 tablespoons dried apricots + 1 tablespoon for the sauce – chopped
1 green apple – skinned, cored and diced (with a squeeze of lemon juice to keep it from getting brown)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh tarragon
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro – roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Manzanilla Sherry or good white wine
Non-fat half and half or skim milk
Preheat over to 375 degrees. In a small bowl add 2 tablespoons of sherry to the dried fruit (for stuffing) to re-hydrate. In a skillet heat 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil while fruit is rehydrating, Add chopped garlic, ¾ of the onion, 1/2 of the apple and fennel to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and cook until slightly translucent. Allow to cool. Once cooled add mixture to a food processor with dried fruit and sherry, 1/4 of the remaining green apple, fresh ginger, soy sauce, tarragon and cilantro. Chop until mixture is well blended. Season the inside of the pork tenderloin with salt and pepper, and spoon mixture into the center. Fold the tenderloin and secure with kitchen string or picks. Season the outside of the tenderloin with salt and pepper. If you have the fennel frawns available wrap them around the outside of the pork tenderloin and wrap the whole thing with aluminum foil. (Wrapping it will help keep it moist.) Place in an oven safe dish with a few tablespoons of water or chicken stock on the bottom. Cook at 375 for about 25 – 30 minutes. You want the pork to be cooked through.
While pork is cooking add ½ cup sherry with ½ cup chicken stock to the pan where the onions and garlic were cooked with remaining onion, apple, and additional cranberries and apricots. Cook until fruit is rehydrated and onions and apples are very tender. Add ¼ cup of the non-fat half and half to finish the sauce off. Serve over the tenderloin on a bed of couscous.